Chapter Nine. Turning Tin Into Gold.
Sogwa hung out in the ship for a year, playing the Nerdlings’ video games and reading their comic books. Finally the big launch day came, and Sogwa snuck back to her house, making sure not to meet the other Sogwa on the way. Some Nerdlings came to say a fond farewell.
Sogwa said, “It is good to be home.”
The Nerdlings said, “It is good to go home.”
Sogwa said, “May you fly as fast as light.”
The Nerdlings said, “May you outlive all your creditors.”
Then they left, and they boarded the Crystal Cuddle Ship, and Sogwa watched through her front window as the super-ship lifted off from Earth. She saw, in the diamond window of the Crystal Cuddle Ship, a cat who looked just like her.
Sogwa then got busy buying things made out of tin. She spent all of her money on tin foil, tin cans, tin whistles, tin bells, tin drums, tin horns, tin horses, tin soldiers, tin medals, and tin trophies saying things like 7TH PLACE , or NICE TRY , or GOOD SPORT. She jammed all that cheap junk into twenty-three jumbo-sized tin-plated trash cans.
She did this just in time, for as soon as the Nerdling ship lifted into space, the twenty-three trillionaires also began to buy tin. They spent all of their money on tin, and they turned all of that tin into gold. They sold all that gold to buy even more tin, which they turned into even more gold, and so on. They did this because they were all greedy, so they didn’t trust each other not to turn tin into gold, so each of them had to turn tin into gold, to keep up with the others.
Soon very little tin remained on Earth, but there was a lot of gold; so naturally gold was dirt cheap, and tin was expensive. Instead of putting soup into tin cans, people would put soup into gold cans, and that worked about as well as the old stuff did; and instead of saving gold coins, people would save tin coins, and these too worked about as well as the old stuff did.
But alas, the twenty-three trillionaires had all of their money in gold, which was dirt cheap, so they all went broke. They were too poor to run the world, so the world had to run itself. And the world did run itself, about as well as the twenty-three trillionaires did.
Meanwhile, clever Sogwa turned none of her tin into gold, even though she too knew the trick. She kept all her tin, and when the price of tin went up, she became a very rich kitty indeed.
That’s the story that Sogwa told me last night, and now I’ve told it to you. The End.